Ás beautiful as WV is, how great to be a bit closer to nature, and as much as I love animals, deer are &%#+& stupid.
S/he just leaped (leapt?) in front of my car.
And now my hood doesn't open.... Is there ANY method to ward them off?
If only they wouldn't put those deer crossings in such high traffic areas we wouldn't have these problems.
Seriously, though, I got nothing. Deer are stupid. They one thing you may want to try is one of those whistles that affixes to the car's bumper to warn the deer of your approach. I've seen them for sale, but have no idea how well they work.
The thing that people tend to forget about deer is that they are herding animals. Because of the herding instinct, they may not respond as one might expect in response to danger (e.g., your car.) Deer don't understand roads and they don't understand automobiles. They instinctively understand that the best place to be when there is danger is with the herd.
So you're tooling on down the highway, and up ahead there is a deer near the road. It gets spooked, and takes off running. Will it cross the road? Maybe, maybe not. That's not what it is thinking about. There is a good chance, however, that it will take off in a direction toward the rest of the herd. If that's what it is doing, and the herd is somewhere in an area on the other side of the road -- possibly crossing right in front of your car.
I've collided with deer at least 5 times in my 36-year driving career, all in Wisconsin, although I haven't hit one in years. A good friend of mine has hit 6 of them, all in a two-county area in Wisconsin, in the last two years. It's really a crap shoot.
Many people swear by deer whistles. Yes, they work -- basically by spooking the deer sooner than your vehicle would on it's own. However, they are no guarantee.
A sci fi shield seems best but I can't seem to find/afford one.... @geko
My vehicles are deer magnets here in Michigan. I've come to believe it just comes with the territory. Drive slower especially early morning and at dusk when they are moving to bedding or feeding areas. Not convinced on the deer whistles but they are inexpensive and can't hurt. Stay safe.
My former husband was hit by a deer in semi rural Kansas so it is not limited to WV. There was a horrible accident in the early 2000s, family driving down a 6 lane highway, deer got hit by one car, went air born and went through the windshield of another car. Mom and dad died instantly, three traumatized kids in the back seat. Deer and highways are not a good mix anywhere. Just 3/4 mile from my house I saw a young deer on the side of the road.
Presumably, cars haven't been around long enough for deer to have worked out they're fast and dangerous (as you rightly say, deer are not bright). Wolves, meanwhile, have been around for quite a while, and deer are very scared of them. So maybe if you glue a wolf to the front of your car...?